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Open access

Jie Shi, Zhen Yang, Yixin Niu, Weiwei Zhang, Ning Lin, Xiaoyong Li, Hongmei Zhang, Hongxia Gu, Jie Wen, Guang Ning, Li Qin, and Qing Su

Objective

A small thigh circumference is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and total mortality. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the association between thigh circumference and hypertension in the middle-aged and elderly population.

Methods

A total of 9520 individuals aged 40 years and older with measurement of thigh circumference were available for analysis. The measurement of thigh circumference was performed directly below the gluteal fold of the thigh. The association of thigh circumference with hypertension was tested in logistic regression analyses and reported as odds ratio (OR) with 95% CI.

Results

Thigh circumference was negatively correlated with systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, fasting glucose, and total cholesterol. Compared with the lowest thigh circumference tertile group, the risk of hypertension was significantly lower in the highest tertile group, both in overweight individuals (OR 0.68; 95% CI 0.59–0.79, P < 0.001) and obese individuals (OR 0.51; 95% CI 0.38–0.70, P < 0.001).

Conclusion

In the present study, large thigh circumference is associated with lower risk of hypertension in overweight and obese Chinese individuals.

Open access

T L C Wolters, C D C C van der Heijden, N van Leeuwen, B T P Hijmans-Kersten, M G Netea, J W A Smit, D H J Thijssen, A R M M Hermus, N P Riksen, and R T Netea-Maier

Objective

Acromegaly is characterized by an excess of growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1). Cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors are common in acromegaly and often persist after treatment. Both acute and long-lasting pro-inflammatory effects have been attributed to IGF1. Therefore, we hypothesized that inflammation persists in treated acromegaly and may contribute to CVD risk.

Methods

In this cross-sectional study, we assessed cardiovascular structure and function, and inflammatory parameters in treated acromegaly patients. Immune cell populations and inflammatory markers were assessed in peripheral blood from 71 treated acromegaly patients (with controlled or uncontrolled disease) and 41 matched controls. Whole blood (WB) was stimulated with Toll-like receptor ligands. In a subgroup of 21 controls and 33 patients with controlled disease, vascular ultrasound measurements were performed.

Results

Leukocyte counts were lower in patients with controlled acromegaly compared to patients with uncontrolled acromegaly and controls. Circulating IL18 concentrations were lower in patients; concentrations of other inflammatory mediators were comparable with controls. In stimulated WB, cytokine production was skewed toward inflammation in patients, most pronounced in those with uncontrolled disease. Vascular measurements in controlled patients showed endothelial dysfunction as indicated by a lower flow-mediated dilatation/nitroglycerine-mediated dilatation ratio. Surprisingly, pulse wave analysis and pulse wave velocity, both markers of endothelial dysfunction, were lower in patients, whereas intima-media thickness did not differ.

Conclusions

Despite treatment, acromegaly patients display persistent inflammatory changes and endothelial dysfunction, which may contribute to CVD risk and development of CVD.

Open access

Malin Nylander, Signe Frøssing, Caroline Kistorp, Jens Faber, and Sven O Skouby

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is associated with increased risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) in later life. We aimed to study the effect of liraglutide intervention on markers of VTE and CVD risk, in PCOS. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial, 72 overweight and/or insulin-resistant women with PCOS were randomized, in a 2:1 ratio, to liraglutide or placebo 1.8 mg/day. Endpoints included between-group difference in change (baseline to follow-up) in plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 levels and in thrombin generation test parameters: endogenous thrombin potential, peak thrombin concentration, lag time and time to peak. Mean weight loss was 5.2 kg (95% CI 3.0–7.5 kg, P < 0.001) in the liraglutide group compared with placebo. We detected no effect on endogenous thrombin potential in either group. In the liraglutide group, peak thrombin concentration decreased by 16.71 nmol/L (95% CI 2.32–31.11, P < 0.05) and lag time and time to peak increased by 0.13 min (95% CI 0.01–0.25, P < 0.05) and 0.38 min (95% CI 0.09–0.68, P < 0.05), respectively, but there were no between-group differences. There was a trend toward 12% (95% CI 0–23, P = 0.05) decreased plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 in the liraglutide group, and there was a trend toward 16% (95% CI −4 to 32, P = 0.10) reduction, compared with placebo. In overweight women with PCOS, liraglutide intervention caused an approximate 5% weight loss. In addition, liraglutide affected thrombin generation, although not significantly differently from placebo. A concomitant trend toward improved fibrinolysis indicates a possible reduction of the baseline thrombogenic potential. The findings point toward beneficial effects of liraglutide on markers of VTE and CVD risk, which should be further pursued in larger studies.

Open access

Andrea V Haas, Paul N Hopkins, Nancy J Brown, Luminita H Pojoga, Jonathan S Williams, Gail K Adler, and Gordon H Williams

There are conflicting data on whether variations of physiologic cortisol levels associated with cardiovascular risk. We hypothesize that prior discordant findings are related to problems associated with varying sample size, techniques for assessing cardiovascular risk and failure to adequately account for environmental factors. To address these issues, we utilized a large sample size, selected the Framingham risk score to compute cardiovascular risk and performed the study in a highly controlled setting. We had two main objectives: determine whether higher, yet physiologic, cortisol levels associated with increased cardiovascular risk and determine whether caveolin-1 (rs926198) risk allele carriers associated with increased cardiovascular risk. This was a cross-sectional study of 574 non-diabetic individuals who completed a common protocol. Data collection included fasting blood samples, blood pressure measurements and a 24-h urine-free cortisol collection. Five hundred seventeen of these participants also completed caveolin-1 genotyping. Subjects were classified as belonging to either the low-mode or high-mode urine-free cortisol groups, based on the bimodal distribution of urine-free cortisol. In multivariate analysis, Framingham risk score was statistically higher in the high-mode cortisol group (10.22 (mean) ± 0.43 (s.e.m.)) compared to the low-mode cortisol group (7.73 ± 0.34), P < 0.001. Framingham risk score was also statistically higher in the caveolin-1 risk allele carriers (8.91 ± 0.37) compared to caveolin-1 non-risk allele carriers (7.59 ± 0.48), P = 0.034. Overall, the estimated effect on Framingham risk score of carrying the caveolin-1 risk allele was 1.33 ± 0.61, P = 0.029. Both urinary cortisol and caveolin-1 risk allele status are independent predictors of Framingham risk score.

Open access

V Guarnotta, C Di Stefano, A Santoro, A Ciresi, A Coppola, and C Giordano

Background

Dual-release hydrocortisone (DR-HC) improves metabolism in patients with adrenal insufficiency. The aims of this study were to compare the cardiovascular and metabolic effects of conventional glucocorticoids (GCs) vs. DR-HC and of high vs. low doses of GCs, after 48 months of observation.

Methods

We selected 27 patients on hydrocortisone (mean dose 17.5 ± 4.2 mg/day) and 20 patients on cortisone acetate (mean dose 37.5 ± 12.1 mg/day) who maintained this treatment (group A) and 53 patients switched to DR-HC (mean dose 22 ± 4.8 mg/day) (group B). At baseline and after 48 months, clinical and metabolic parameters and Framingham Risk Score (FRS) were obtained.

Results

After 48 months, patients in group A had a significant increase from baseline in BMI (P < 0.001), waist circumference (P = 0.001), systolic blood pressure (P = 0.001), LDL cholesterol (P = 0.018), HbA1c (P = 0.020) and FRS (P = 0.002). By contrast, patients in group B had a significant decrease in BMI (P = 0.002), waist circumference (P = 0.015), diastolic blood pressure (P = 0.031), total (P = 0.006) and LDL cholesterol (P = 0.005), HbA1c (P < 0.001) and FRS (P = 0.015) compared to baseline. No significant differences between high and low doses of both conventional GCs and DR-HC were observed.

Conclusions

DR-HC is associated with an improvement of metabolic parameters and cardiovascular risk compared to conventional GCs, which are associated with a worsening of these parameters, regardless of the dose used.

Open access

Johan Verhelst, Anders F Mattsson, Cecilia Camacho-Hübner, Anton Luger, and Roger Abs

Background

Adult-onset growth hormone deficiency (AO-GHD) is associated with an increased prevalence of the metabolic syndrome (MetS).

Aim

To determine the effect of GH replacement on the prevalence of MetS in AO-GHD and to study the impact of MetS on the incidence of cardiovascular events during GH replacement.

Patients and methods

1449 AO-GHD patients (males 48.9%; mean age 48.9 ± 12.8 year) were retrieved from KIMS (Pfizer International Metabolic Database). The prevalence of MetS (using International Diabetes Federation criteria) and its components were calculated at baseline and after one year of GH replacement. The relative risk to develop cardiovascular events according to the presence of MetS at baseline was assessed in another group of 3282 patients after prolonged GH replacement.

Results

The prevalence of MetS was 46.9% at baseline and 48.2% after one year of GH replacement (P = NS). The percentage of patients with abnormal waist circumference decreased significantly (80.3 vs 77.4%; P < 0.001), but impaired glucose metabolism (17.1 vs 23.3%; P < 0.001) increased and HDL cholesterol (48.2 vs 50.9%; P = 0.011) decreased. Switch from MetS to NoMS (18.5%) and from NoMS to MetS (18.8%) occurred. All patients showed a significant and comparable amelioration of quality of life. During seven years of GH replacement patients with MetS had a 66% higher risk (P = 0.0016) to develop a new coronary disease compared to NoMS.

Conclusion

MetS prevalence remains unchanged in AO-GHD during one year of GH replacement whereas its components are differentially affected. Besides GH replacement, consequent pharmacotherapy of all risk factors and endorsement of lifestyle intervention appears to be of uttermost importance together with early GHD diagnosis to prevent cardiovascular disease during prolonged treatment.

Open access

Valeria Hirschler, Claudia Molinari, Silvia Lapertosa, Gustavo Maccallini, and Claudio D Gonzalez

Background

The association between central obesity and cardiometabolic complications justifies exploring its association in normal-weight and overweight/obese (OW/OB) schoolchildren.

Objective

To describe cardiometabolic markers in four groups according to BMI/WC categories: (i) normal weight with central OB; (ii) normal weight without central OB; (iii) OW/OB with central OB and (iv) OW/OB without central OB, in a sample of Argentinean schoolchildren.

Methods

A cross-sectional study of 1264 Argentinean schoolchildren (624 F), aged 9.5 ± 2.2 years was performed between November 2013 and 2015. Children’s anthropometric measures, blood pressure (BP), glucose, lipids, and insulin were measured. Children were divided into four groups: (i) normal weight with central OB; (ii) normal weight without central OB; (iii) OW/OB with central OB and (iv) OW/OB without central OB.

Results

The prevalence of normal-weight children without central OB was 64.3% (796), normal weight with central OB 5% (66), OW/OB without central OB 11% (137), and OW/OB with central OB 21% (265). Normal weight with central OB had significantly higher triglycerides than normal-weight children without central OB (86 vs 70 mg/dL, respectively) and OW/OB children without central OB (81 vs 77 mg/dL). Multiple linear regression analyses showed that age, systolic BP, HDL-C, triglycerides, and maternal WC were significantly associated with children’s WC; R2 = 0.50 as well as children’s BMI; R2 = 0.37.

Conclusion

This study found that children with central OB might be at future higher cardiometabolic risk than those without central OB independently of the presence of OW/OB. However, future longitudinal studies should be performed to confirm these findings.

Open access

Julia Kubiak, Per Medbøe Thorsby, Elena Kamycheva, and Rolf Jorde

Objective

Low serum 25(OH)D levels are associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and some of its risk factors. However, in interventional studies, the effects of vitamin D supplementation have been uncertain, possibly due to inclusion of vitamin D-sufficient subjects. Our aim was therefore to examine effects of vitamin D supplementation on CVD risk factors in vitamin D-insufficient subjects.

Design

Double-blinded randomized controlled trial.

Methods

A 4-month interventional study with high-dose vitamin D (100,000 IU loading dose, followed by 20,000 IU/week) or placebo with measurements of blood pressure, lipids (total-, LDL- and HDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, apolipoproteins A1 and B), and glucose metabolism parameters (blood glucose, HbA1c, serum human receptors for advanced glycation end products (sRAGE), insulin, C-peptide and HOMA-IR).

Results

A total of 422 subjects with mean serum 25(OH)D level 34 nmol/L were included, with 411 subjects completing the study. Serum 25(OH)D levels increased with 56 nmol/L and decreased with 4 nmol/L in the vitamin D and placebo group, respectively. We found no statistically significant differences between the two groups in any of the measured CVD risk factors, except for a minor increase in sRAGE in the vitamin D group. Stratified analyses of subjects with low baseline serum 25(OH)D levels alone, or combined with blood pressure, lipid and HOMA-IR values above the median for the cohort, did not skew the results in favour of vitamin D supplementation.

Conclusion

Supplementation with vitamin D in subjects with baseline vitamin D insufficiency does not improve CVD risk factor profile.

Open access

Huguette S Brink, Aart Jan van der Lely, and Joke van der Linden

Gestational diabetes (GD) is a frequent complication during pregnancy and is associated with maternal and neonatal complications. It is suggested that a disturbing environment for the foetus, such as impaired glucose metabolism during intrauterine life, may result in enduring epigenetic changes leading to increased disease risk in adult life. Hence, early prediction of GD is vital. Current risk prediction models are based on maternal and clinical parameters, lacking a strong predictive value. Adipokines are mainly produced by adipocytes and suggested to be a link between obesity and its cardiovascular complications. Various adipokines, including adiponectin, leptin and TNF&, have shown to be dysregulated in GD. This review aims to outline biomarkers potentially associated with the pathophysiology of GD and discuss the role of integrating predictive biomarkers in current clinical risk prediction models, in order to enhance the identification of those at risk.

Open access

Thomas Reinehr, Alberto Sánchez-Guijo, Nina Lass, and Stefan A Wudy

Objective

Little information is available on the steroid sulfates profile in obese children. Therefore, we examined whether sulfated steroids are linked with weight status and associated comorbidities in obese children.

Methods

We analyzed 66 obese children (mean age 10.5 ± 2.5 years, 57.6% female, 53.9% prepubertal, mean BMI 27.0 ± 4.6 kg/m2, 50% with BMI-SDS reduction >0.5, 50% without BMI-SDS reduction) who participated in an outpatient 1-year intervention program based on exercise, behavior and nutrition therapy. We measured intact sulfated steroids (cholesterol sulfate (CS), pregnenolone sulfate (PregS), 17αOH pregnenolone sulfate (17OH-PregS), 16αOH dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (16OH-DHEAS), DHEAS, androstenediol-3-sulfate, androsterone sulfate and epiandrosterone sulfate) by LC–MS/MS, and insulin resistance index HOMA, lipids, blood pressure at baseline and 1 year later.

Results

All sulfated steroids except 17OH-PregS, 16OH-DHEAS, androsterone sulfate and epiandrosterone sulfate were higher in boys compared to girls. Concentrations of CS before intervention were higher in children who lost weight. After 1 year of treatment, both groups showed increased levels of DHEAS, 16OH-DHEAS and androstenediol-3-sulfate, but PregS was only increased in children with weight loss. None of the steroid sulfates was significantly related to cardiovascular risk factors or HOMA except 17OH-PregS, which was associated with systolic blood pressure both in cross-sectional (β-coefficient: 0.09 ± 0.07, P = 0.020) and longitudinal analyses (β-coefficient: 0.06 ± 0.04, P = 0.013) in multiple linear regression analyses.

Conclusions

Since higher steroid sulfation capacity was associated with successful weight intervention in children disruption of sulfation may be associated with difficulties to lose weight. Future studies are necessary to prove this hypothesis.